Sub Jantjies gives Stormers dramatic Super Rugby win

Sub Jantjies gives Stormers dramatic Super Rugby win

Western Stormers snatched a dramatic post-siren 19-17 Super Rugby victory over Golden Lions Saturday to put a nightmare start to the season last weekend behind them.

Stormers fans
Photo: Facebook, Stormers

Substitute scrum-half Herschel Jantjies darted over for a try after a five-metre scrum on 85 minutes and winger SP Marais converted at Newlands stadium. 

Victory was a massive relief for the Stormers after a 37-point thrashing away to the Northern Bulls in another South African derby last Saturday. 

Despite it being only the second weekend of the season, the media had billed the match as a "make-or-break" affair for the Cape Town outfit.

It seemed the Stormers would come up short as they fell behind after only six minutes when flanker Kwagga Smith scored a try and trailed for the next 79 minutes.  

"We left it desperately late to get in front, but a win is a win," said Springboks and Stormers skipper and flanker Siya Kolisi.

"I believe we deserved the four points given our never-say-die spirit and the amount of pressure we exerted in the closing stages."

Tries by Smith and Warren Whiteley, both of which fly-half Elton Jantjies converted, helped the Lions to a 14-6 half-time lead with Marais slotting two penalties.

Marais kicked another two penalties to close the deficit to just two points and Jantjies one to stretch it to five in favour of the Lions before the dramatic climax.  

Earlier, Curwin Bosch scored a late try to seal a 26-7 bonus-point victory for the Coastal Sharks over the Auckland Blues in Durban as they maintained a perfect start to the season.   

The Springbok utility back intercepted a pass and darted from his own half to touch down between the posts and fly-half Robert du Preez kicked his third conversion of the match.

- Dominant -

Full-back Aphelele Fassi, hooker Armand van der Merwe and Du Preez scored first-half tries as the dominant Sharks established a 19-0 half-time advantage at Kings Park stadium.

The Blues were a much improved side in the second half only to be denied a try on 55 minutes when the television match official spotted obstruction by flanker Dalton Papalii. 

However, the New Zealanders were deservedly rewarded soon after when a long skip pass from fly-half Otere Black sent replacement back Tanielu Tele'a over in the corner.

Black converted from the touchline to leave 12 points between the teams and Sharks supporters must have feared a constantly-retreating home team could be overtaken.

Those concerns were heightened 12 minutes from time when Sharks lock Ruan Botha was yellow-card for a cynical maul infringement. 

However, the South Africans held firm with 14 men until Bosch put the outcome beyond doubt.

A need for consistency was the pre-season battle cry of Sharks coach Robert du Preez, a former Springbok scrum-half and the father of the fly-half.   

"There is a great respect for New Zealand teams and the Blues brought the best out of us, especially during the first half," he said.

"It is vital that we maintain this good start. Too often in previous seasons we have been up one weekend and down the next."

The Blues, the weakest of the five New Zealand title contenders in recent seasons, have just one point from two matches. 

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